LEADING OFF: Garcia joins Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, Votto run


A look at what's happening all around the majors Friday:



Left-hander Jaime Garcia gets his first close-up look at the Yankees-Red Sox craziness when he takes on Boston in the Bronx. The Red Sox have won eight in a row and are guaranteed of leaving Yankee Stadium with the AL East lead, no matter what happens in the three-game set. Garcia makes his second start since being traded from Minnesota to New York — he was roughed up by Cleveland in his debut.


Jay Bruce is expected to make his first start for Cleveland when the AL Central leaders play at Tampa Bay. The Indians acquired Bruce from the New York Mets on Wednesday night for a minor league pitcher, and he made his Cleveland debut as a pinch-hitter Thursday night. Bruce had 29 home runs and 75 RBIs for the Mets this year. The Indians need outfield help, with Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall both on the disabled list.


Cubs righty John Lackey is 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break. The 38-year-old has helped keep the World Series champs on top of the NL Central, and he'll try to improve his 9-9 record when he pitches at Arizona.


Joey Votto takes a 15-game hitting streak — the longest active run in the majors — into Cincinnati's series opener at Milwaukee. The first baseman is batting .478 with five homers during the string, which is two games shy of his career high. Votto has homered four times in his last six games and has 31 this year. His highest total was 37 during his 2010 National League MVP season.